The interface between cyberspace and psychotherapeutic space: Relationship avoidance and intimacy in adolescent psychotherapy

Etziona Israeli, Zehorit Asulin-Simhon, Ruth Sharabany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper documents one aspect of an adolescent boy's psychotherapy, as a basis for discussion of the theoretical issues for introducing cyberspace communication into psychodynamic therapy. The patient's "blogging" serves as a platform for consideration of several seemingly contradictory functions. It is an avenue for the patient to reveal himself while maintaining comfortable control and also avoiding direct contact with the therapist and diluting communication. The blog writing allows for the regulation of emotions to some degree as well as an experience of solitude with an imagined audience. This therapy is in the context of the adolescent roller coaster - loss, anger, distancing while yearning for intimacy, and acting out. Changes in the therapy are mirrored by vicissitudes in the function and content of the blog. Cyberspace communication is a hallmark of the present generation. The implications of introducing it into adolescent therapy as well as refraining from it need to be considered. We attempt here to examine the role of this new space with regard to the patient, the therapist, the therapeutic relationship, and the course of therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-297
Number of pages19
JournalPsychoanalytic Study of the Child
Volume67
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2013 by Claudia Lament, Robert A. King, Samuel Abrams, A. Scott Dowling, and Paul M. Brinich.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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